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Sony Working on New Disc Format, Possibly For PS4

January 11, 2010 Written by Anthony Severino

In a recent interview with Play3, Sony’s Senior VP of Product Development, Shuhei Yoshida said that the PlayStation 4 will use optical storage discs like Blu-Ray for blockbuster games. This was surprising considering Sony’s digital push with UMD-less PSPgo, and the trend the gaming industry has shown toward digital distribution.

So if the PS4 is to feature an optical disc drive, what will the storage format be? Will we see yet another Blu-Ray equipped console? Or will Sony usher in a new technology much like the PS2 did with DVD and the PS3 did with Blu-Ray? We may have the answer after the jump…

Considering Sony’s track record of innovation and “future proofing” their consoles, it’s hard to believe that Sony will yet again equip their console with a Blu-Ray drive. Blu-Ray is what’s hot currently, and while games still aren’t quite filling Blu-Ray discs’ maximum storage capacity, the format is clearly the “present” and not the “future”. To fully “future proof” the PS4 to withstand the standard PlayStation 10-year lifecycle, Sony is going to need to go above and beyond Blu-Ray.

Sony, not-to-be outdone by anyone, is rumored to be working on a successor to Blu-Ray. According to an article in the current issue of GameInformer magazine (Dead Space Cover; Issue 201) Sony is hard at work on “the next jump”, a disc similar to the previously announced Holographic Versatile Disc. The disc is said to have a capacity of 6TB (terabytes) or 6,000GB (gigabytes), more than enough to support 1080p HD video, 3D imagery, uncompressed loseless HD audio, along with any other AV codec you could throw at it. On top of all that storage, the format can use the massive amount of available space to implicate extra security measures, a major positive when pitching the format to game developers (and movie studios) who don’t want their games pirated.

It’s difficult enough looking into the future to predict such a need, even more so now with digital distribution becoming more and more prevalent. Sony has done it in the past with Blu-Ray and with the help of the PlayStation 3, made the format an everyday, household name. While Blu-Ray is here to stay and certainly has plenty of life left in it, so does the PlayStation 3. When the time arrives for the PlayStation 4 to be released, there could be a need for such a massive capacity storage medium. If Sony sees a need for such a format in the future, they’d likely look to the PlayStation 4 to replicate the success the PS3 had in ushering in Blu-Ray.

Do you see a need for such a technology? Do you think the Sony would take the risk again with another new format debuting on a PlayStation console? Or have they learned a lesson from the PS3′s launch price and initial reception?